Ely Minnesota Tourist Attractions 

Gateway to the Boundary Waters

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Ely Minnesota tourist attractions and vacations will take you to the wildest and most scenic part of our state. Plan a trip into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness or enjoy the attractions right in and near Ely.

Ely Minnesota Vacations

"On the map, Ely appears to be at the end of the road. For people who love wilderness and beauty and solitude, on the contrary, it's at the center of the world." ~Charles Kuralt

Ely is often called "The Canoe Capital of the World." Even if you are not interested in a canoe trip into the wilderness there are many good reasons to make Ely your Minnesota vacation destination.

There are five hundred lakes lakes within twenty miles of Ely and, as well, about two million acres of public forest.

"Roughing it" is not the only way to enjoy a vacation in Ely. You can explore the beauty and recreation in, and around, Ely then return to comfortable lodging in one of Ely's Hotels, Resorts or Bed & Breakfast Inns.

Ely Minnesota vacations give you the opportunity to visit the International Wolf Center, the North American Bear Center, and the Dorothy Molter Museum.

Ely Minnesota Vacation Rentals – You get the whole house!


Ely Hotels, Resorts & Bed and Breakfast Inns

Here are two of our favorites, one resort hotel and one bed and breakfast inn.

There are links to other resorts below and, as well, a link to some of the private vacation rental properties available to you.

You will also find some of the most beautiful resorts in the state near Cook, Minnesota.

Explore the Gunflint Trail - Enjoy a stay at the Gunflint Lodge

Minnesota Bed & Breakfast Inns Choose a romantic, cozy B & B anywhere in Minnesota you want to be.

Ely Minnesota Vacations

Ely Minnesota Tourist Attractions

Ely Has a Thriving Arts Community

The Northern Lakes Arts Association sponsors music, dance, theater, literary and visual arts events all year long.

Summer concerts take place in Whiteside Park.

Festivals and Celebrations in Ely Include:

  • Blueberry Arts Festival
  • Harvest Moon Festival
  • Boundary Waters Blues Fest
  • Ely Winter Festival
Boundary Waters Planning Resources like maps, guide books and other resources are essential to the success of your trip.

Trips into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness are what bring many people to Ely, Minnesota. Plan your Boundary Waters Minnesota vacation or a trip to Voyageurs National Park with the help of Canoe outfitters Boundary Waters companies in Ely and the surrounding area.

Ely Minnesota Vacations

More Things to Do in Ely Minnesota: Consider renting a houseboat for a unique Ely Minnesota vacation. Two companies on Birch Lake, 15 miles south of Ely in the town of Babbitt, rent houseboats:

  • Kinsey Houseboats: 218-827-3763/888-827-3763
  • Timber Bay Houseboats: 218-827-3682/800-846-6821
Ely Minnesota Vacations

Hikers love the Ely area. Some of the best hiking trails include:

  • The Trezona Trail: four miles of paved trail around Miner's Lake and is part of the new MesabiTrail.
  • Mesabi Trail: will eventually extend from Ely to Grand Rapids; a total of 132 miles.
  • Taconite State Trail: is primarily a snowmobile trail and also stretches from Ely to Grand Rapids.
  • Hidden Valley Recreation Area: created for cross-country skiing and loops for 12 miles through the birch and pine forest just off Highway 169.
  • The Gunflint Trail out of Grand Marais

Ely Minnesota Restaurants:The Chocolate Moose is a tradition for our family. Burntside Lodge, in our opinion, has no rival for an evening out. If you love the best burgers most anywhere, be sure to try Stony Ridge.

Ely Minnesota Vacations

Dogsledding tours have become one of the most popular Minnesota winter adventures on Ely Minnesota vacations.

Minnesota State Parks Near Ely Minnesota

Bear Head Lake State Park  - How to Get to Bear Head Lake State Park: Take U.S. Highway 169 east for nine miles out of Tower, MN. When you get to Highway 128, drive south for seven miles to the park. Or, from Ely, go west on Minnesota Highway 169 to County Highway 128. Follow this road south 7 miles to the park.  

Soudan Underground Mine State Park - How to Get to Soudan Underground Mine State Park: Drive 2 miles east of Tower on U.S. Highway 169 to the park entrance.

Lake Vermilion State Park - How to Get to Lake Vermilion State ParkDrive 2 miles east of Tower and follow the signs to the Soudan Underground Mine State Park entrance. The park is on the eastern shores of Lake Vermilion, adjacent to Soudan Underground Mine State Park, and just south of the Superior National Forest and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

See why Ely is on our list of the 10 Best Vacation Spots in Minnesota

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Minnesota Vacation Rentals by VRBO - Choose a vacation rental in a specific area or get ideas about some of the best Minnesota vacation destinations before you decide. Take a look at some of these fantastic properties and locations for your group of any size.

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